June 11, 2013
Pictured: Joseph Clementi, father of Tyler Clementi and co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation
In recognition of LGBT Pride month, the Office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today hosted Jane and Joseph Clementi, whose son Tyler died in 2010, to speak to an audience of Assistant District Attorneys and other members of the Office’s legal and support staff. The Clementis were joined by their elder son, James Clementi, and spoke about the work and mission of the foundation, which they created in honor of Tyler.
“I am enormously grateful to the Clementis for their work on behalf of LBGT youth, and for sharing their message with my Office,” said District Attorney Vance. “Social media is increasingly being used to harass, threaten and torment young people. For LGBT youth who may be particularly vulnerable to prejudice and hostility, the consequences of bullying can be devastating for victims and their families. The work of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, which focuses on promoting the acceptance and social inclusion of all individuals, greatly adds to our ability to protect young people from bullying and abuse.”
Guided by the story of Tyler Clementi, whose death in 2010 drew national attention to the issue of cyber-bullying and the vulnerability of LGBT youth, the Tyler Clementi Foundation focuses on fostering meaningful conversations about the acceptance and inclusion of young people at school, on campus, and online – regardless of sexual orientation – and promoting safe, respectful environments for LGBT youth and their allies.
Pictured (l-r): Jane Clementi & Joseph Clementi, co-founders of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, James Clementi, and Steven Guy, Executive Director for the Tyler Clementi Foundation
The District Attorney’s Office also organizes presentations on cyber-bullying at middle schools and high schools throughout the city in order to educate students about what they should do if they or someone they know becomes a victim of bullying. Last year, District Attorney Vance spoke to students at George Washington High School and the Hetrick-Martin Institute about the support and resources available to victims. Assistant District Attorneys from the Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau and Hate Crimes Unit have also given presentations on cyber-bullying, and those who are interested in setting up similar presentations at their schools are encouraged to call the Office’s Community Affairs Unit at 212-335-9082.